Male Breast (Gynecomastia):
Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Naples, Palm Harbor
Almost all males experience some degree of breast growth (i.e. gynecomastia) during their lifetime. Up to 65% of adolescent boys and 40% of adult men are affected by varying degrees of breast enlargement. This is often a troubling and embarrassing topic for men to discuss and can affect their recreational, athletic, and sexual lives. Dr. Perez has years of experience treating gynecomastia with patients coming from Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Naples, Palm Harbor, and abroad. He is able to correctly diagnose, educate his patients, and provide care in a private, direct, and efficient manner that his patients have come to appreciate.
The causes of male breast enlargement are varied but the most common etiologic factor is idiopathic (i.e. unknown). Other causes of gynecomastia, which are far less common, include physiologic (i.e. fluctuations in circulating levels of hormones which occur during puberty and with advanced age), pharmacologic (i.e. marijuana, steroids, and certain blood pressure and heartburn medications), and pathologic (i.e. liver disease, testicular tumors, and hyperthyroidism).
The ideal candidate for a male breast reduction is a man of normal weight who has experienced breast enlargement for longer than 12 months. Medical, pharmacologic, and physiologic etiologies must be ruled out with appropriate physical exam and laboratory testing when necessary. Men seeking gynecomastia surgery should be non-smokers or at least smoke-free for three months before and after surgery.
Male breast reduction surgery has evolved dramatically since its inception and particularly over the last decade. Dr. Perez stays current in the most advanced and minimally invasive treatments of male breast enlargement in order to provide his patients with the best care possible.
Surgical Excision - Traditional treatment of male breast enlargement consists of radical excision of the excess glandular and fatty breast tissue through an incision located around the periphery of the nipple. While effective, this technique often leaves patients with a deflated, shapeless chest and central divot underlying the nipple. Additionally, this rather aggressive approach is also burdened by high rates of postoperative nipple retraction and poor scarring.
With the introduction of liposuction in the 1970’s, the treatment of gynecomastia has also evolved to utilize liposuction techniques. Through small incisions located at the periphery of the breast tissue, liposuction cannulas are introduced and traditional liposuction or ultrasound-assisted liposuction (click here to learn about Liposuction) is performed to remove excess fatty breast tissue. Because fibrous, glandular breast tissue is stronger and more compact than fatty breast tissue, the fatty breast tissue is easily removed with liposuction while the denser glandular tissue remains. This often produces the appearance of a “puffy nipple” with underlying fibrous breast tissue surrounded by a flaccid, abnormally flat, or even “rippled” chest wall where liposuction has been performed aggressively.
Liposuction with Excision and Fat Grafting- Because of the disappointing results obtained with surgical excision or liposuction alone, Dr. Jaime Perez now uses a combination of liposuction, direct excision, and fat grafting to ensure the most natural and attractive results possible. With this procedure, Dr. Perez first performs liposuction of the chest wall and excess fatty breast tissue. Next, through very small incisions placed at the lateral aspect of the base of the pectoralis muscle, Dr. Perez removes the tough, fibrous breast tissue still remaining underneath the nipple after liposuction. To ensure a smooth, flat, and masculine chest and prevent future nipple retraction, Dr. Perez performs a small amount of fat grafting directly underneath the nipple-areolar complex and to any other areas that appear prone to future deformities. Finally, Dr. Perez performs advanced methods of liposuction, called lipoetching or differential liposuction (click here to learn about Lipoetching), to further define the borders of the pectoral muscles and create the appearance of a toned, athletic, slab-like chest. This “triple threat” approach to gynecomastia ensures the highest levels of patient satisfaction with the lowest need for reoperations and revisions.
Most patients undergoing gynecomastia surgery are thrilled with their results and can’t wait to go swimming at the beach or hit the court for some shirts and skins. However, despite the high degree of patient satisfaction, like with every surgery, male breast reduction surgery is not without risks.
The most common complications of male breast reduction surgery are underresection (22%), overresection (20%), poor scarring (19%), and postoperative hematomas and seromas (10 to 15%). These outcomes are seen most commonly in patients undergoing aggressive amounts of direct surgical excision. Other complications such as infection or loss of the nipple-areolar complex are much less common.
While the cost varies by region of the country and procedure performed, the usual cost of male breast reduction in the Tampa Bay area, which includes Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, is between $4,000 and $6,500. Read more about cost on our Financing page.
Male breast reduction surgery typically lasts one to two hours, depending on technique, and is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. At the first postoperative appointment, the sterile surgical dressings are removed and replaced with a supportive vest-like garment. Patients are expected to wear this garment at all times for two to four weeks. At this point, patients are generally allowed to wear a snug, under armor-type shirt for an additional two to four weeks postoperatively. While every patient is different, most men are able to return to work in less than one week, light exercise in two to three weeks, and resume strenuous activity (including overhead lifting, etc…) after five weeks. Antibiotics and pain medicine are prescribed following the surgery.